Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TPN—Judson Phillips: New Year’s Resolutions, 2014

 The New Year is almost upon us.  Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions. 

Resolutions for the New Year are goals.  Goal’s are an excellent beginning but goals without a plan are pretty meaningless.  Benjamin Franklin warned us, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

What should the Tea Party’s New Year’s resolution for 2014 and the plan be?

For 2014, we need a few simple issues we can make a Tea Party platform.  We need things candidates can identify with and can use to bludgeon their non-Tea Party opponents.

Here are some resolutions that would make a good Tea Party platform we could all use in 2014.

Eliminate waste in government. 98% of all Americans oppose government waste. The 2% that support it work for the government.   The question is how do we eliminate waste when Congressmen and Senators are always adding it and don’t want to cut any programs?

Monday, December 30, 2013

How a Republic Dies

by Diane Rufino, December 30, 2013

One of my all-time favorite HBO series is ROME, starring Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson.  Borrowing on a theme similar to Forrest Gump, the series follows the journey of two men in Julius Caesar’s Roman legion who seem to find themselves making history wherever they go. The soldiers are Lucius Vorenus (McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Stevenson).  Although Vorenus and Pullo are real centurions who displayed outstanding bravery and valor in battle and were included in Caesar’s war journals, their journeys and experiences in the series are the creation of the writers. ROME chronicles the period in Roman history when the people lost their republic. Aside from the entertainment provided by Vorenus and Pullo, who are often violent and crude, the story showed how the Senate tried to stand up to the ambitions of men like Julius Caesar and Octavian (who renamed himself Augustus Caesar) to protect the people’s hand and voice in government.

Perhaps I am drawn to the series because of my Italian heritage or perhaps it is because of Rome’s history as a republic and its impact on our Founding Fathers when they sat down to fashion a government to serve the people and protect their inalienable sovereign rights.

Rome was established as a republic in 509 B.C. when it was a mere city-state.  It was easy to manage and government was responsive to the people. Originally established as an advisory board composed of the heads of patrician families (wealthy landowners), the Senate soon became the most powerful organ of republican government and the only body of state that could develop consistent long-term policy. It was involved in virtually all public matters, but its most important responsibilities were in foreign policy and financial administration.  Roman citizens had a voice in government by electing Senators who represented them and were accountable to them.

You will want to read the rest here! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Important Commissioner's Meeting on Mill Pond Facility (aka Newport Wind Project

On Thursday night (6 PM on January 2nd), there will be an important public hearing on the Wind Mill Project proposed for the Newport - Morehead City area. The meeting will be held in the Crystal Coast Civic Center (Morehead City, near the Community College).

The purpose of the public hearing is to allow the public to tell the commissioners what they think about the proposed 60 day moratorium that will permit the County adequate time to fix the deficiencies in their current Tall Structure Ordinance. Those are what the Bullet Points identify. Each of those addresses a legitimate concern, and is based on scientific research and/or common sense.

To our knowledge, this is the largest venue ever proposed for a Carteret Commissioner public hearing. It was selected by the commissioners because they are offering all citizens the opportunity to speak on a critically important community issue — and they know that a LOT of people are concerned.

This is very much of an unresolved matter so we need citizens to:
1 - attend this meeting, 
2 - speak up (identifying who they are), 
3 - support the proposed 60 day County wind energy moratorium, and 
4 - endorse the Bullet Points.

FYI, the Town of Newport is working diligently to do just that. From what we have heard, the draft version of their updated wind law includes essentially ALL of the proposed Bullet Points. Kudos to them! The County should now do the same, so that there is parity between the two laws. [BTW the public hearing for Newport residents on their updated wind law is January 9th.]

Many people are reluctant to get up at such an event, but you don’t have to be a public speaker to just say something like:
“My name is Janet Smith and I work at a local travel agency. I support the proposed 60-day wind moratorium, and urge the Commissioners to incorporate all of the Bullet Point fixes into their wind law.”

Use your own words, but that’s all there is to it.

Our understanding is that everyone will be given 3± minutes. If you want to expand on the basic suggestion above, that’s up to you — but it is important to stay on topic. The meeting is about two issues: 
   a) should there be a wind moratorium? and 
   b) what changes should be made during that time to the County’s wind law? 

For some other ideas to bolster your position, please read the citizens’ case which was presented to the state level meeting last week. This webpage also has a lot of good information, like the handout (which has been updated).

Even if the Mill Pond project throws in the towel tomorrow, we still need to fix the County's ordinance, ASAP. Another wind project could suddenly appear, and we need to be better prepared.

This is an issue of statewide importance, which is why it is getting high level attention. But whether they appreciate it or not in Raleigh, this is a verysignificant matter to NC coastal taxpayers, ratepayers, businesses, environment, and the military.

We expect that there will be some well-intentioned people who will speak in favor of the proposed Mill Pond project, and we will respectfully listen to their opinions. However, this meeting is not a referendum on wind energy. 

Rather this is a discussion as to whether County Commissioners will enact legislation that protects citizens, existing businesses, the environment and the military from many of the scientifically proven adverse consequences of industrial wind energy.

Please pass this onto ALL of your local contacts lists, both personal and business.

It is only through your excellent support that we have accomplished a lot in a very short time. Thank you!

This is your opportunity to make government work for you!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

National ‘Chick-PHIL-A Day’ on January 21, 2014

National ‘Chick-PHIL-A Day’ to support free speech explodes; wear camos

“Join the movement to support Chick-fil-a and Phil Robertson by wearing cam/Duck Commander gear to eat at a Chick-fil-a on January 21, 2014,” the event reads, and since Monday, over 46,000 people are planning to do just that.


December 25, 2013 by Frank de Varona

Barack Obama is a rogue president who has used tyrannical executive orders and government regulations to bypass Congress. He has no respect of our Constitution. In 2001 Obama said that “the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties full of constrains imposed upon us by our Founding Fathers.” Obama hates those “constraints” since he wants to govern in a dictatorial manner.

Obama has made our Constitution and Congress irrelevant. Obama announced his “We Can´t Wait” campaign in 2011 by stating the following: “We can´t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won´t act, I will.” Obama has virtually declared himself a dictator by announcing that he intends to govern by executive fiat. He has destroyed the Constitution separation and balance of powers  provisions by naming 45 radical White House czars with enormous powers, who are not subject to congressional oversight or approval of the Senate.

The next too-big-to-fail train wreck on the horizon

A Taxpayer Bailout for ObamaCare

Canada Free Press, December 26, 2013

An American public already reeling from the catastrophic rollout of ObamaCare will more than likely be hearing an unfamiliar term being bandied about in the new year. “Risk corridor” refers to a provision in the law that allows the government to “stabilize” premium costs for insurance companies during the first three years of the healthcare rollout.

If insurance companies’ “target” costs for providing healthcare have been miscalculated, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will intercede on their behalf. Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer illuminates the nature of that intercession. “The insurers understand that they’re going to be completely ruined,” Krauthammer explains. “And what’s going to happen as a result of this? There’s only one way out, a huge government bailout of the insurers is waiting at the end of next year.” More accurately, it will be a taxpayer-funded bailout, similar to the ones given to the banks and the car companies.

Risk corridors were established to protect insurance companies that signed up too many sick people, relative to the number of healthy enrollees. They were part of a system that also included two other concepts known as “reinsurance” and “risk adjustment.”

The reinsurance part of the equation initially compensated insurance companies for enrollees whose costs exceed $60,000 per year. For 2014, that compensation is funded by a $10 billion fund, fed by a $63 tax that has been levied on all healthcare plans. And while the program collects those taxes even from large employer-sponsored plans, payouts only help to underwrite the costs of individual and small-group plans.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

I am not posting the Daily News Digest today.  Sadly, today on this holiest of days, there are some very depressing stories out there.  Instead here are some inspirational videos for you to enjoy.  ~ Lynn

Phil Robertson Explains Reason For Christmas

This message from Duck Commander Phil Robertson explains the Gospel message, and I wanted to share it this Christmas.

Share this video with someone who needs to understand the reason we celebrate the birth of Jesus. And if you are curious why we follow this teacher born over two thousand years ago, the Duck Commander explains.

(By the way, I will be watching the Duck Dynasty marathon today starting at 3:30 pm!)

Becky Kelley- Where's the Line to See Jesus 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Grinch Still Trying to Steal Christmas

By Phyllis Schlafly, 

The Grinch was a bitter, grumpy hermit who tried to steal Christmas from kids in a famous 1950s children's story. Unfortunately, the Grinch has reemerged to try to take Christmas away from schoolchildren.

The Grinch is so nasty today that his actions could be prosecuted under our hate crime laws. The law defines hate crimes as those characterized by hate, or even bias, committed on the basis of a person's protected characteristics of religion and ... you know the other protected categories.

All over the country, Grinches masquerading as school superintendents have been banning the traditional singing of Christmas carols and nativity displays, and insisting the word "winter" be substituted every time the word Christmas is used (e.g., "winter vacation").

The Grinch ignores the fact that federal law makes Christmas a national holiday. There are no laws or even court decisions that prohibit schoolchildren from singing Christmas carols.


$11 Mil for Equipment to Make Healthier School Meals for Poor Kids

To meet the requirements of Michelle Obama’s multi-billion-dollar childhood obesity law, her husband’s administration is dedicating $11 million so public schools can buy kitchen equipment to prepare healthier meals for low-income students.

It’s simply the latest of many generous allocations to help attain the Obama family goal of conquering childhood obesity, especially in minority and inner-city neighborhoods. Just a few weeks ago the administration awarded a $1.2 million government grant to help middle school students create fitness video games known as “exergames.” The administration has also spent hundreds of millions of dollars, according to its own records, to study obesity and justify the creation of restrictive policies to control what Americans eat.

Continue reading!

Common Core: Dangers And Threats To American Liberty And Education

A presentation by Dr. Duke Pesta and Mrs. Mary Black of Freedom Project exposing Common Core.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Obama Administration Secretly Extends Health Care Enrollment Deadline

The Obama administration has decided once again to make adjustments to the Affordable Care Act, secretly extending the deadline for enrollment by one day.

Midnight on Dec. 23 (Monday) was the original cut off date for enrollment for people who want coverage starting January 1. But without so much as a formal announcement, consumers will now have until midnight on Tuesday to enroll in Obamacare, the Washington Post reported, citing two officials who are familiar with the situation.



Blaze Exclusive: Pakistani Terror Group Threatens Deadly Attacks on New York, Washington, D.C.

Pakistan’s most dangerous terrorist organization, the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), has promised it will attack New York and Washington, D.C., in an act of revenge with suicide fighters, according to a newly released video obtained by TheBlaze.

The group also claims responsibility for the most deadly attack in CIA history and the failed bombing of New York’s Times Square.

The video pays tributes to slain commander Qari Hussain Ahmed, also known as Qari Hussain Mehsud —  known for his suicide squads. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2010.

Twas the Night before Christmas (2013)

By Rick Manning

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land
The tea party was stirring, too upset to disband
Congress had finished a bad budget deal
In hopes that the people would accept and not squeal

Barack and Michele on Waikiki did they lay
With visions of third world debts to repay
And Rove in his jammies, a Crossroads to bear
Was still shaking off, thirteen months of despair

When across America, a clatter broke out
The Obamacare lie, was creating a shout
The website had crashed, with no way to repair
The people were frantic, would there be no health care?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Do Democrat lawmakers anticipate treason trials?

Canada Free Press, December 21, 2013

According to a report by Breitbart’s Elizabeth Sheld, eight Democrat lawmakers have proposed a bill that would eliminate the death penalty as a consequence for individuals convicted of numerous federal crimes, among them espionage and treason. Nothing happens in Washington without a reason, so The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act (HR 3741) gives rise to a bevy of questions and suspicions.

What motivation would congressional Democrats have for wishing to neutralize the death penalty option for such serious crimes? While the average news consumer is conditioned to summarily dismiss the machinations of government unless it directly impacts their pocketbook, or their sensibilities are deliberately targeted by the press, common sense dictates that elected officials proposing such a law could be anticipating the requisite conditions, thus necessitating the law in the first place.

So, who do these lawmakers suppose might be tried for treason, espionage, or the host of other federal crimes now punishable by death in the not-so-distant future?

The NC General Assembly Holds Its First Public Meeting on Common Core

COMMON CORE: The NC General Assembly Holds Its First Public Meeting on Common Core (Dec. 17, 2013)

Diane Rufino, December 22, 2013

On Tuesday, December 17th, the NC General Assembly Common Core Study Committee held its first public hearing to address Common Core. I attended, as well as other activists and Tea Party leaders all across the state.   Opponents of Common Core who attended were advised to dress in red to make a visual statement to the NC General Assembly of the growing movement against North Carolina’s adoption and implementation of the controversial education standards.  I proudly wore an oversized red sweater and a sticker that announced my opposition to Common Core – as did so many others.  Indeed, the public arena was a sea of red and opposition was palpable.

Those who spoke in favor of Common Core were Dr. June Atkinson, head of the NC Board of Education, and Michael Brickman, the national policy director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where he promotes education reform. Prior to his position with the Fordham Institute, Brickman was recruited by Governor Scott Walker to lead his education-reform efforts in Wisconsin.

Brickman has publicly characterized Common Core opponents as a “small but vocal minority of conservatives” coupled with a bit of “the far left.”  In front of the Study Committee and the audience in red, he stated that opponents are caught up in conspiracy theories and unfounded and baseless talking points.  Dr. Atkinson spent a good part of her presentation echoing the same sentiment.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, arguably Common Core’s greatest champion, also has accused its opponents of employing conspiracy theories.

Michael Brickman gave a presentation that was essentially broken down in three parts:  (i) The poor Report Card that Fordham gave North Carolina for its state Education Standards; (ii)  Why Common Core addresses NC’s education shortcomings (and poor standards); and (iii) Why opposition to Common Core is based on Myths and not facts.

Read the entire article!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Before diving into the core problem it is imperative, you fully comprehend what Progressivism is at its fundamental principle.  It is bathed, dressed, hair and make-up complete as though it were a bride on her wedding day, for everyone to “ooo” and “Ahhhh” while walking down the aisle.  However, when we look beneath the surface of the stark white dress, we can be frightened by its true evil and “butt ugly” nature. 


Progressivism as defined by Halpin and Conor in “The Progressive Intellectual Tradition in America,“ moving beyond the status quo to more equal and just social conditions consistent with original American democratic principles such as freedom, equality, and the common good.”  They continue noting, “The original Progressive Era is known for two major developments: One, Political Reform …and Two, Economic Reforms….Progressives’ overall goal was to replace a rigid economic philosophy…with a more democratic political order.”  HOLD ON, there is more!  They also note, “Progressivism has always been a part of a broader global movement to build more humane, just, and economically stable international community based on full opportunity and self-determination for all citizens.”


Wait we had that before these nut-jobs and we still have it now.  What?  Do you have a choice to:  turn left or right?  Take drugs or not take?  Study or not study?  Work or not work?  Marry or not marry? Cheat on your wife or not cheat?  Attend school or skip school?  Be an apprentice, learn a trade or not work and live off the government?  Everything is just as it is.  IF you are displeased with where you are at in life…YOU hold the power to make different decisions and change your circumstance!  NOT one person needs the United States Federal Government to direct their decision-making.

Ready for the kicker?  Halpin and Conor noted in the conclusion of their writing, “Progressivism-the promotion of human autonomy within a democratic national community-thus provided Americans with the means and ideas to shape their own lives and destinies in better ways.  It provided them a viable way to free themselves from the tyranny of excessive corporate power and a corrupt political class…It made economic behavior subject to public regulation.”


Read more!

Another ObamaCare Surprise: Estate Recovery

The New American, December 19, 2013

Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn were about to sign applications for free coverage under Washington State’s Medicaid program — recently expanded under ObamaCare — when Sofia began reading the fine print: If you’re over age 55, the state of Washington will bill your estate for your health expenses when you die.

So much for “free.”

Prior to ObamaCare, state Medicaid programs (enacted in 1965 and expanded in 1993) offered help to poor people who couldn't afford health coverage but required states to recover their health costs from their estates when they died. However, state exemptions for personal goods and residences meant that such “estate recovery” efforts were modest as most people either had no other assets or had “spent down” those that they had to a minimal level.

Eastern North Carolina Update with Congressman Walter B. Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.I want to take a moment to update you on my work for Eastern North Carolina over the past few weeks. As we move further into the holiday season, I would also like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In November, I was honored to receive the Constitution Award in recognition of my perfect score on The New American's Freedom Index. Our Constitution is under constant attack, and defending America’s principles of freedom is my greatest privilege and responsibility as a member of the House of Representatives.

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Be Not Deceived!"

So, A&E, if any of your shows' cast members quoted Corinthians 6:9-11 -- automatic suspension, too?

1 Corinthians 6:9

King James Version (KJV)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.


CCTA Members Attend Legislative Committee Hearing in Raleigh

Public Service Announcement / Press Release
December 19, 2013

CCTA Members Attend Legislative Committee Hearing in Raleigh

Nine members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA) attended the joint Study Committee on Common Core State Standards held in the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh on December 17th.  There are 7 North Carolina Senators and 7 North Carolina House members, including Michael Speciale who represents much of Craven County, on the Committee.  Senator Soucek presided.

Staff members made presentations about what the committee has been charged with doing, what is and will be on the committee's website, and reviewed what North Carolina law says about "standards," "curriculum," and "Common Core."

Several people made opening statements.  The committee asked short-answer questions during the presentations, but reserved their more probing questions for after the presentations were completed.  The two presenters with the longest, most detailed content were Michael Brickman and June Atkinson.  Mr. Brickman is a former educational policy advisor to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and is currently a policy director with the Fordham Institute.  Dr. Atkinson is North Carolina's Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction.

Of the 9 CCTA members in attendance, 7 are members of CCTA's Common Core Committee which is chaired by Kim Fink.  That committee met with Dr. Atkinson for 2 hours the preceding week and thus were aware of some of Dr. Atkinson's vast knowledge about Common Core.  As a matter of fact, Dr. Atkinson quoted things said at that meeting by 3 of our members (Nancy Murdoch, Kim Fink, and Glenn Fink) during her presentation.  Surprisingly, some of Dr. Atkinson's answers to questions asked by Senators and Representatives shocked CCTA members. 

For example, when she was asked if there were more testing or less testing of students under Common Core, Dr. Atkinson said that there is less testing in high schools, then went into a long statement about testing, but failed to acknowledge the increased testing for kindergarten through third grade.  Pre Common Core, North Carolina had no comparable testing in grades K-3 except for a recently instituted "pre-test" in the third grade.  The stress caused young children by testing is one of the areas in which Common Core has been criticized, and Dr. Atkinson is well aware of that.  One wonders why she avoided sharing that information with the legislative study committee.

At another time, Dr. Atkinson was asked about what data will be collected under Common Core, and Dr. Atkinson mentioned only those items of data that are currently being collected, and those items sounded relatively harmless.  However, Dr. Atkinson failed to add that the chain of documents bringing North Carolina into Common Core and related U.S. Department of Education regulation changes will force North Carolina to submit ever more intrusive information that is personally identifiable by name of student without the necessity to obtain that student's parents' permission to the U.S. Department of Education.  Further, the U.S. Department of Education has made it plain that they will release that information to third parties.  There is even a requirement that North Carolina change any state law which is in conflict with Common Core implementation.  Again, Dr. Atkinson is well aware of these things.  Why did she not see fit to mention them?

The joint legislative Study Committee on Common Core State Standards plans to have 3 more public meetings at which it will receive information.  CCTA's Common Core Committee will be happy to share in depth information with the legislative study committee and show them the government documents which make the veracity of the information provided clear.

CCTA members in attendance were Kim Fink (CCTA Common Core Committee Chairman), Glenn Fink, Rick Hopkins (CCTA Chairman), Kathryn Blankley, Nancy Murdoch, Terrie Winter, Ryan Meadows, Hal James, and Raynor James. 

Info provided by:

Raynor James, PR Chair, Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA)

Check out these headlines from NC Reenegade!


Who Says Obama Hasn’t United the Country?

14th change to law without Congressional approval...

Yesterday the Obama administration suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. It’s at least the 14th unilateral change to Obamacare that’s been made without consulting Congress. 

“It shows that the Obamacare insurance products aren’t selling so, at the last minute, the administration is holding a fire sale on a failed launch,” says Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, a health-care advocacy group. “Just think how you must feel if you were one of the people who spent the last two months fighting their way through HealthCare.gov to buy a policy that will be thousands of dollars more expensive than this catastrophic insurance!”  

Continue reading!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CCTA Elects New Officers for 2014!

If you missed last night's meeting and Christmas Party you really missed a good time! After a brief meeting that included election of officers--we adjourned for conversation and a lot of wonderful food!  We had a great turn out and thanks to all who brought food!  ~Lynn

New CCTA Officers for 2014
Chairman:  Rick Hopkins
Vice Chairman:  Glenn Fink
Secretary:  Terry Winter
Treasurer:  Don Murdoch

Chairman Hopkins announced last night that we have found a new place to meet for our public program meeting!  So starting in January we will be meeting at the Stanly Hall Rivertowne Ballroom.

CCTA Monthly Public Program Meeting
 January 21, 2014, 7:00-9:00 pm
 Stanly Hall Ballroom, Craven and Pollock St., New Bern, NC.  Elevator Entrance:  249 Craven St. or Stairwell Entrance at 305 Pollock St.
Common Core Update 
Speaker:  Lynn Kakadaelis
We meet every 3rd Tuesday for our Public Information Program Meeting.  

CCTA Member Business Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of the month at 6:00 pm. Highland Park Christian Church, 905 Carolina Avenue, Trent Woods, NC
More info: Lynn Childs, 252-528-0500 or email, lynn.ccta@gmail.com

Disclaimer: Although some of our classes and events are held at local churches, the churches are not affiliated with and do not endorse or support Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). We have simply made arrangements with them to use their facilities. All church functions and activities remain separate and unaffiliated with CCTA functions and activities. The facilities are used for educational and organizational purposes only and not for political events or endorsements.

TPN—Alan Caruba: Asian Trade Treaty Will Destroy America

December 17, 2013
Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty

In the same way Obamacare was foisted on America by creating a 2,000-page law that Democrats in Congress never even bothered to read, a new treaty about trade with Asia is going through the same process and poses as great, if not greater, threat to our economy, our judiciary, and our sovereignty.  Secrecy and outright deception is the hallmark of the Obama administration and a proposed Asian treaty must be stopped. 

It is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and, writing on The Economic Collapse blog, Michael Snyder, notes that “This treaty has 29 chapters, but only 5 of them have to do with trade. Most Americans don’t realize this, but this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties, and so much more.”

Snyder warns that “It contains a whole host of things that Obama would be unable to get through Congress on his own. But he is hoping to spring this on Congress at the last minute and get them to agree to this ‘free trade agreement’ before they realize all of the things contained in it.” This is a definition of governing by deception. It evokes the way Obamacare was put before a Congress that had not read it…and which passed by a straight party-line vote by Democrats.

Coburn’s 2013 ‘Wastebook’ Features Brothels, NASA and Senate ‘Lifestyle Training’

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., wants Congress to stop spending money on things he deems unnecessary — such as “looking for signs of intelligent life in Congress” by giving NASA $3 million to set up a workshop in Washington, D.C., explaining the legislative branch.

Coburn, the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released his annual “Wastebook” Tuesday, and if you like a little sass and a lot of cuts in government spending, this is the book for you. Of course, it does not outline a path to make structural changes on either the tax or spending side, but it does highlight approximately 100 projects that cost the government $30 billion, the purpose of which Coburn questions.
A sample of some of the items Coburn would like to eliminate....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Alan Caruba: The Power Mad EPA--the threat is the EPA, not the mercury!

Barely a week goes by these days without hearing of some new demand by the Environmental Protection Agency that borders on the insane.

Increasingly, EPA regulations are being challenged and now reach the Supreme Court for a final judgment. This marks the failure of Congress to exercise any real oversight and control of an agency that everyone agrees is now totally out of control.

Recently the EPA ruled that New York City had to replace 1,300 fire hydrants because of their lead content. The ruling was based on the Drinking Water Act passed by Congress in 2011. 

As Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) pointed out while lambasting the agency, “I don’t know a single New Yorker who goes out to their fire hydrants every morning, turns it on, and brushes their teeth using the water from these hydrants. It makes no sense whatsoever.” Reportedly, the Senate is poised to consider legislation exempting fire hydrants if the EPA does not revise its ruling.

The EPA is not about making sense. It is about over-interpreting laws passed by Congress in ways that now continually lead to cases before the Supreme Court. The Court is composed of lawyers, not scientists. In an earlier case, they ruled that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” when it is the one gas that all vegetation requires. Without it, nothing grows and all life on Earth dies.

Senate advances budget deal (Cloture)

The Hill, December 17, 2013

"To offset the restored sequester cuts, the bill would reduce federal employee retirement benefits by $6 billion. Military retiree benefits are also cut by $6 billion."

The Senate on Tuesday advanced a two-year budget deal in a 67-33 vote, setting the measure up for final passage.

Twelve Senate Republicans joined all 55 Democrats and Independents on Tuesday to advance the bipartisan budget deal approved in a landslide House vote last week. President Obama also supports the measure.

The bill sets top-line spending levels for 2014 and 2015 and reduces the sequester spending cuts by $63 billion over the next two years.

Despite opposition from conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, GOP Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John McCain (Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) voted to end debate on the measure.

The rest of the GOP conference, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ken.), who faces a tough reelection race next year, voted against it.

Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ken.) all voted no.